The Council of Agriculture (COA) hosted the first “Stray Dog Management Policy Consensus Conference.” After their five-day dedication, the 19 participating citizens presented their valuable opinions on three major themes: “how humans should treat animals and how to enhance and implement the concept of animal protection,” “how to increase resources on the stray dog management and strengthen government’s policy execution,” and “how to complete the overall stray dog management system.” On August 16, they released a joint conclusion. The COA added that the conclusion will be taken into consideration when planning or reviewing the short-term, mid-term and long-term stray dog management policies in the future.
Stray dog management involved in multilevel aspects
The COA stated that though this conference which is mainly concern the stray dog management, the attendant citizens broaden their discussions to three major themes: “how humans should treat animals and how to enhance and implement the concept of animal protection,” “how to increase resources on the stray dog management and strengthen government’s policy execution,” as well as “how to complete the overall stray dog management system.” All of these themes not only cover aspects of people’s conceptual education, government policy implementation and pet owner management, but also reflect the fact that in actual practices, the stray dog management is quite complicated and not merely related to how to deal with existing stray dogs along the street.
The COA further said that the priority of the reached consensus is to suggest the government to establish a more complete resource management system. Similar to the vehicle registration, a supervision system should be introduced to the dog management. That is to say, pet owners are required to obtain a license (like a driving license). In addition, regarding a recent social dispute about whether TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) should be legalized as the main method of managing stray dogs and implemented nationwide, the participants have not yet reached a consensus. But they suggested that the central government can support local governments and animal protection groups to cooperate on small-scale TNR trials with supplementary measures.
Citizens from different backgrounds reach meaningful conclusion
The COA noted that in the past, the government only invited scholars, experts and those involved in animal protection when discussing the issues of stray dog management. It was difficult for the general public to express their viewpoints or opinions. In this citizen’s consensus conference, the participating 19 persons come from different backgrounds and are selected rigorously from 600 citizens willing to join through public recruit and random telephone interview. Therefore, the consensus reached by these citizens with different perspectives, life experiences and educations in intensive five-day meetings is significantly meaningful. The COA thanks them again for their contributions to the conference by providing many valuable advices. It also welcomes everyone to take a look at the open information of the conference (http://www.ccaw.org.tw/), so that this conference can continuously promote the value of animal protection concept to more people.